Twitter acquires mobile engagement platform OpenBack to enhance push notifications

Twitter is acquiring Dublin-based mobile engagement platform OpenBack, the social media giant’s head of consumer product, Jay Sullivan, announced on Tuesday. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The OpenBack team will join Twitter’s Bluebird product team and will focus on enhancing notifications on the social media platform.

Founded in 2015, OpenBack is a platform that aims to make apps more engaging through device-side control of push notifications. OpenBack makes it easier for mobile apps to process data on-device without needing to go through a third-party server, unlike conventional push notification SDKs. Twitter notes that the company’s take on push technology puts privacy first and offers an overall improved user experience.

“OpenBack and their talented team joining Twitter will help us improve our ability to deliver the right notifications at the right time, in a way that puts people’s privacy first,” Sullivan said in a tweet. “We’re thrilled to have them join the flock and look forward to seeing their impact.”

A spokesperson for Twitter told TechCrunch that the company wants to ensure that what people are notified about on Twitter is relevant, timely and engaging. The company says it’s continuing to look at ways to better personalize the Twitter experience. With this acquisition, Twitter plans to enhance its notifications experience so that it can connect people with relevant content at the right time.

In a tweet, OpenBack CEO David Shackleton said that the goal of OpenBack was to make push notifications “truly user first” for billions of people in a new way, and that the opportunity to work with Twitter fulfills that goal.

Twitter says OpenBack will wind down its business as it brings the team over to its platform. OpenBack’s website reveals that the company is shutting down on April 19.

“We are excited to announce that OpenBack is joining Twitter! We are so grateful to all of our customers and supporters along the way as we’ve worked to make push notifications truly user first,” the OpenBack’s homepage reads. “With Twitter’s positive impact on the world, we are very excited to become part of the Twitter team and continuing building the future of notifications there.”

Twitter has made a series of acquisitions over the past few years to enhance its own product. In December, Twitter acquired Quill, a business-focused messaging service meant to compete against the likes of Slack and keep people focused. The team joined Twitter’s Experience organization to work on messaging tools, specifically Twitter direct messages. In November, Twitter acquired Threader, an app that lets people compile Twitter threads and share their favorites, making it easier to help people find long threads on the platform.

In October, Twitter acquired Sphere, which operates an eponymous groups chat app. Before that, the company acquired Revue, a newsletter platform, and Breaker, which laid the foundation for Twitter Spaces.